Tag Archives: hell’s kitchen

Thai Me Up, Thai Me Down

24 Oct

Maybe it’s the proximity to the Theater District and Lincoln Center but friends are always asking me for quick, cheap-eat suggestions near Ninth Ave in the low-50s. After all, a person can only eat at Empanada Mama so many times. The other night I found a new fave in the area: Pure Thai Shophouse. It basically blew every other mediocre, forgettable Thai place in the city out of the water. And while it is a bit cramped (not great for dates), the food was served quickly and was soooo good. How good? I almost rubbed my face in the peanut sauce accompanying the chicken skewers. My friend also raved about his Ratchaburi crab & pork dry noodle dish. I stuck with tofu and vegetables but asked for it extra spicy, then spent much of my meal crying into my Chang beer. Just kidding—it was awesome. (But this place is serious about heat, so don’t fool around if you’re not a pro.) Along with authentic flavors and decor, the funky soundtrack added a nice touch. That, and the fact that I spent about $23.

Ardesia: Classy Wine Bar on West 52nd

24 Aug

Ever find yourself in the West 50s thinking, um, why does this area exist? Ardesia (52nd b/t Tenth and Eleventh) might make you feel better. It’s a spacious wine bar with good food (small plates like burrata, pretzels and surprisingly tasty seared flank steak) and plenty of interesting by-the-glass options. Even during happy hour when wine and beer is $2 off, this place rarely gets crowded—probably because it’s a schlep from the subway. But that means fewer annoying people to ruin the ambience. Or steal your seat on the outdoor patio.